A Florida man was apprehended by TSA officers at Raleigh County Memorial Airport in West Virginia on Monday after attempting to bring a loaded pistol onto a plane, according to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
A deputy was quickly alerted and upon investigation, allowed the man to return the gun to his vehicle. However, TSA says the man now faces a stiff federal financial penalty for bringing his weapon to the airport.
“We are continuing to see this be an issue as people seemingly forget that they are carrying firearms with them. There is a proper way to travel with firearms, and we will continue to amplify that,” TSA Press Secretary Carter Langston told Fox News Digital.
Langston says that failing to follow the proper protocol for traveling with firearms comes with a hefty fine — up to $15,000 depending on the severity and, in some cases, an individual could be arrested.
“Guns are not permitted to be carried into the cabin of a plane, a regulation that has been in place for decades before TSA even existed,” TSA Federal Security Director for West Virginia John C. Allen said. “So obviously there is no need to bring a gun to the checkpoint. Instead, what happens when an individual shows up at a checkpoint with a firearm, is that the checkpoint lane comes to a standstill until law enforcement officers resolve the incident. This delays other passengers.
“Responsible gun owners know where their firearms are, and they also know that they are not permitted to be carried onto a flight.”
Langston added that an October report revealed TSA officers stopped over 1,800 firearms at airport checkpoints nationwide during the third quarter of 2023, and they are expecting to surpass last year’s record of 6,542 firearm interceptions by the end of the year.
TSA also reminds travelers to always know the contents of their carry-on bag prior to coming to the security checkpoint.
TSA has multiple resources available to passengers to help them determine whether an item is permitted in carry-on baggage, checked baggage, either or neither. Travelers can use the “Can I Bring?” feature on the TSA website or on the free downloadable myTSA app.
Travelers can also tweet to @AskTSA or send a text message (275-872) if they have a travel question or are unsure if an item is allowed through security in a carry-on bag.